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The Magic Flute
Dress Rehearsal Photographs 1st Set
Dress Rehearsal Photographs 2nd Set

Dress Rehearsal Photographs by Michael Downing

Darkness at edge of Mozart's 'Magic Flute'
by Jaci Webb

The Magic Flute
Alberta Bair Theater
February 25, 2017
7:30 pm
Click here for performance information

Cast List

Papageno- Ross Coughanour
Pamina - Amy Logan
Tamino -
Lukas Graf
Papagena -
Karla Stricker
Queen - Brooke Moncada
Sarastro - Daren Small

Three Ladies -
Janie Sutton, Kristy Dallas, Kate Meyer

Speaker - William Mouat

Monostatos - Justin Ward

3 spirits- small young ladies with light voices
Mandi Taylor, Kelli Deiling, Marisa Getchell

Ensemble List

Stage Director -
Daniel Helfgot
Conductor -
Barbara Day Turner
Opera Rehearsal Acompanist -
Eric Andries
Chorus Master-
William Mouat
Chorus rehearsal accompanist -
Katy Garber
German diction coach -
Doug Nagel

Costumes- Tricities Opera
Lighting Design - Alex Heyneman
Set Design - Nathan Blanding
Darkness at edge of Mozart's 'Magic Flute'
• By JACI WEBB jwebb@billingsgazette.com

• Feb 17, 2017

Beautiful arias sung in a mythical land where the lines blur between good and evil — this is opera at its best.
Mozart’s glorious music in “The Magic Flute” paired with libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder weaves an adventurous tale into life’s affirming message that love conquers all. NOVA Center for the Performing Arts will bring the two-act opera to the Alberta Bair Theater stage for one performance at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25.
"The Magic Flute" will be sung in German with English supertitles with dialogue spoken in English.

The cast includes many familiar faces, including Daren Small, Amy Logan, Ross Coughanour, and Lukas Graf, and introduces Billings soprano Brooke Moncada in her first major opera role as the Queen of the Night. Moncada will perform perhaps the most familiar aria in opera, hitting one of the highest notes a human can produce, an F6 note.

“It’s a very difficult soprano, which is why I’ve been working on it since August,” Moncada said.
Billings theater fans will recognize Moncada because she has performed in several local productions, including “August: Osage County” and “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at NOVA.

At 24, she is one of the youngest cast members in “The Magic Flute.”

'Reverse puberty'

Transitioning from musical theater to opera has been a big leap for Moncada, who studies voice with Doug Nagel at Montana State University Billings, where she is majoring in mass communication.

"I’m going from an alto to a soprano; it’s like reverse puberty,” Moncada said.
The Queen of the Night is notoriously bad, but Moncada said there is an element of uncertainty about her true character. The audience must decide whether she is good or evil.

Karla Stricker is also stepping into a leading role with her portrayal of Papagena, the perfect woman for Papageno, played by Ross Coughanour.
“I’ve sung in every Billings opera since 2009,” Stricker said, noting that it's way more fun being a central character.
The conductor and director, Barbara Day Turner and Daniel Helfgot, respectively, are a married couple from San Jose, Calif. They have helped produce several operas in Billings over the last two decades.

'Funny, charming'

Helfgot praised “The Magic Flute” as the ideal opera for first-timers.

“It’s moving, it’s funny, it’s charming, it’s fast-paced and easy to understand," he said.

Collaborating with a spouse makes the process smoother, Turner said. Married for 35 years, they prefer to work on projects together because they respect each other’s strengths.

Neither one is the ultimate boss of the stage, Helfgot said.

“Everyone has the same level of importance, from the person who makes the shoes to the person who hits the high notes,” he said.
Because Turner and Helfgot work in other genres, including musical theater, they bring fresh ideas to opera. Turner said she is impressed with the level of excellence the Billings opera community brings to its productions.

"Rimrock Opera and NOVA have done a great job nurturing local talent. And it's amazing to me that you have such a strong audience for opera in Billings."

photos Bronte Wittpenn , Billings gazette 
photos Bronte Wittpenn , Billings gazette
photos Bronte Wittpenn , Billings gazette 

photos Bronte Wittpenn , Billings gazette